Monday, August 5, 2013

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

Who doesn't love a great retelling of a classic fairytale?  A unique spin on an old-time classic tale. That is exactly what Paul Rudnick did with Gorgeous.  On the surface this story might feel very Young Adult (rags to riches), but when you start to peel back the layers, Rudnick really creates a story for all ages with lessons in self discovery, social media, influence and the dissection of wealth, power and beauty in a way that is very accessible to those young and old. 

Imagine living an ordinary life, having an ordinary job with ordinary dreams and aspirations.  Then you turn 18 and find yourself with a rude life awakening when you come home to find you only living parent dead.  With nowhere to turn and just a mysterious phone number to follow, Becky Randle beings her journey in this coming of age Cinderella-like story.  

Becky meets influential designer, Tom Kelly who offers Becky the deal of a lifetime, one she could not possibly decline: he’ll design three dresses to transform Becky from a nothing special girl into the most beautiful woman who ever lived - Rebecca Randle.  Rebecca soon finds herself on the cover of magazines and starring in movies and falling for the heir to the British Throne, Gregory, Prince of England!  This newfound beauty of course comes with perks as well as disadvantages and of course there is a catch: Becky needs to fall in love and get married within a year to retain her beauty.  But what happens when Becky finds herself in love but wonders if the love in return is for kind-hearted Becky or gorgeous Rebecca?

From the comedic Rocher and the outrageous Tom Kelly to the eccentric Queen of England (and her pack of corgis) and everyone in between, Rudnick does an amazing job building an outstanding cast of characters who all play a role in shaping this unique story.  The plot is delicately mapped out and the stories intertwined to create a perfect web that is set to entangle your interest.  The pace is just about right, maybe a little slow out of the gate but certainly picking up speed and setting a racing pace for the end that will keep you guessing how this Cinderella story will unfold.  This is a perfect read for that trip to the beach or for an upcoming book club to discuss some very real issues that we all face in today's world.

No comments: